CFD-DEM Training for Liggghts and OpenFoam

Price: 920 €


The training content will include a fundamental understanding of the DEM and the necessary steps required to perform physical correct simulations. The training will cover the complete workflow of a simulation project as well as the state of the art bulk material calibration.

The CFD-DEM training will be performed as a webinar. The five modules will cover the basic steps which need to be performed to do a reliable and verified simulation using the discrete element method as well as a basic training in CFD with OpenFoam. The modules are divided by their topic. Each module will contain a 90 min presentation and a 30 min discussion and questions. The modules will be performed on multiple days to get enable to entendee to try out the new skills in parallel.

After the training the attendees will be able to perform simulations with physically correct parameters which show a very high congruence to real life experiments. It is recommended to have a Liggghts installation ready for personal usage during modules two and three.

This beginner friendly training of OpenFoam gives a good starting point for a successful simulation. The training starts with the general structure and operation of OpenFoam. CAD Model and import functions will be discussed, as well as the preparations which need to be done before importing the CAD geometry. It will be discussed how the internal meshing tool of OpenFoam can be used to built meshes well enough for industrial applications.

Module five will give an introduction in the CFD DEM coupling. It will be explaained wich files have to be included and which parameters are relevant to perform physical correct simulations. 

Module: DEM basics

During the first module the basics of the DEM including the mathematical background will be explained. This module is important to gain a better understanding of the processes during the computation of a discrete particle problem. This will give the attendees the chance to understand possible modelling errors and computational problems.

The module includes:

  • Field of usage of DEM
  • Overview about possible projects which can be solved by using DEM
  • General description of bulk material and laboratory testing
  • Brief mathematical background of the DEM
  • Modelling approaches like “coarse graining” and other simplifications
  • Introduction into the necessity of calibration of bulk material
  • Verification and validation by measurements in industrial size
DEM Contact between Particles

Module: Software training in Liggghts

The second module gives the attendees the chance to see how the basics from module one are used to do a simulation of a belt conveyor loading free flowing bulk material into a hopper. The input script will be handed over to the attendees. The module includes the following functions of the DEM-software Liggghts.

The module includes:

  • Basic modelling strategy
  • Liggghts input script of a belt conveyor charging material into a hopper
  • Insert commands and particle distribution
  • Friction values between particles and particle wall contacts
  • Surface velocity and rotating objects
  • Writing and post processing of result data
Liggghts example of DEM Simulation

Module: DEM Calibration

The third module will focus on the measurement and calibration of bulk material properties. Therefore, a calibration of a sample of bulk material will be shown. The laboratory experiments for the calibration will be presented and a Liggghts script for a basic calibration using the “angle of repose” will be explained.

Angle of Repose for different friction values

 The module includes:

  • Measurement of:
    • density
    • grain size distribution
    • wall friction (two methods)
    • angle of repose
    • draw down
  • calibration procedure in any software
  • calibration in Liggghts with the angle of repose

Module: OpenFoam Basics

The OpenFoam module will give a general introduction into OpenFoam and will enable the user to perform basic simulations on a example of a multi – inlet / outlet pipe flow. It will be explained how to preper the simulation models, build the mesh, set the boundary conditions and start a simulation. 

 This module includes:

  • Folder structure of OpenFoam
  • CAD preparation
  • Basic meshing with blockMesh
  • Meshing industrial geometries with snappyHexMesh
  • Improving numerical stability and how to solve 90% of convergence problems
  • Setting boundary conditions


OpenFoam Simulation of drag forces on a car

Module: CFD-DEM Coupling

After the first four modules the entendee will be able to perform DEM and CFD simulations seperatly for a wide rage of applications. The last step will be to bring the nessecary simulations together and perform a coupled CFD and DEM simulation using OpenFoam and Liggghts. 
Coupled DEM CFD Simulation
 This module includes
  • Files for the coupling (boundary conditions, additional parameters)
  • time-step variations
  • Adjusting drag forces 
  • executing a coupled Simulation of a fluidized bed